The tire cover debate, before and after pics

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SargeW

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I have always been on the "pro" side of using tire covers. Not so much for the tires, but for the wheels. I recently had to prove it to myself.

My general rule for tire covers is if I am at a place for 3 or more days, I will put them on. And always at the beach. So I have been on the Oregon coast for most of the last 2 months, and have used the covers constantly. Until last week. We were at Yachats on the Oregon coast at Sea Perch RV Resort. Nice place, small, but right on the sand.

I had driven through some rain on the way there, so instead of putting the covers on upon arrival, I figured I would wash the dirt off the wheels first. I didn't. After a week of salt, sand, and near constant blowing sea spray, we packed up to leave and head east. While tearing down I grabbed a brush and some water to rinse the wheels. Nothing came off. 

So I used some spray on aluminum cleaner. Sprayed and washed off. Still no help. Upon arrival in Sisters, Or I grabbed a stiff brush and some soap. Nope, not coming off. When I got to Sea Perch the wheels were pretty clean and shiny. Now they looked like Pic 1.

So the only thing I could think of was my Mothers metal polish, and a Mothers Power ball. (A foam polishing wheel you put into a drill motor).

After 2 1/2 to 3 hours, I got one back to Pic 2. Still not perfect as I couldn't get real close to the lug nuts with the Power Ball without taking them off. Since the lugs are put on at 450 ft pounds of torque, that wasn't going to happen.

The worst of the four wheels was the right front. It got most of the constant spray. The right rear is spotted up with salt, but not quite this bad. The drivers site wheels are a little better yet. I hope.

The moral of the story is using tire covers is strictly a choice and has up sides and down sides, and weather it helps the tires or not is debatable. But I can say without a shred of doubt, they definitely help protect the wheels.
 

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S

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Marty
There is a liquid aluminum sealer that will keep the shine far longer than just polish.  you put it on after you polish and wipe just off the haze.

The stuff I used was called "Wizards alum. sealer".  I did a complete polished motorcycle engine for a custom bike, as I was assembling it I polished and sealed every part, and it even had polished alloy cylinders.

Years later I saw that bike again and it still looked great. I asked the owner what he was doing to keep up the shine, and he said,  "nothing special, I just clean it like normal".
 
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I always thought they were trying to keep their Michelin tires from cracking.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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We used covers when we camp hosted at a park in eastern Washington.  They sprinkled the lawns twice weekly and the well water was very hard, leaving water spots everywhere.  Used a squeegee and towel on the coach sides after each watering, but had to have wheel covers because the Accushield alloy wheels were too hard to dry off and the dried water spots need ed polish to remove.


There is a liquid aluminum sealer that will keep the shine far longer than just polish.  you put it on after you polish and wipe just off the haze.
I suspect Marty's wheels already have a factory-sealed finish.
 
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The Acola allum. truck rims I had were not factory sealed...if you forgot to polish them for a couple months, they looked like they were just silver paint, not a chrome finish like polished aluminum looks.

If he got on them with a Power Ball and an aggressive alum. polish...they don't have anything but polish on them now.

I have noticed many come clear powdercoated now days,  yes, soap and water cleanup and it looks better longer, but not as shiny.
 

SargeW

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No, unfortunately I don't have the clear coated aluminum Alcoa's.  I wish I did! Normally when using the covers I just hit them with some spray on detailer once in a while and keeps them looking great.  But this sea salt spray thing is a whole different ballgame.  Thanks, I will look up the Wizards alum. sealer.  Anything is worth a shot.
 

Oldgator73

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A lot of folks think they want to live at the beach until they live at the beach. We grew up in Daytona Beach. Not on the beach but went there daily during the summer. The toll the sand, salt and sun took on stuff and humans was tremendous.
 
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Oldgator73 said:
A lot of folks think they want to live at the beach until they live at the beach. We grew up in Daytona Beach. Not on the beach but went there daily during the summer. The toll the sand, salt and sun took on stuff and humans was tremendous.
try and keep the windows clean parked at the beach.
 

Oldgator73

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
LOL, plenty of the critters in Alaska too. And also The Yukon, where we've been in clouds of them so thick it was hard to draw a breathe at times.

Having lived in remote Alaska, King Salmon, I can attest to what Gary speaks of. My wife and kids came up to visit me. I took them to the lake to Fish and told them ?When you get out of the van do not blink or open your mouth?. The bugs, no seeums and white socks were so thick you could see clouds of them heading towards you.
 
G

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Guest
To clean aluminum wheels just use aluminum foil (not on the shiney side of the wheel).  Wad up the aluminum fork in a lose ball, with just water start to rub on the wheel.  You will be amazed how in just a few seconds the stuff you cant get off with other products just comes right off. 

The back part of my truck wheels were covered in rust, brake dust and all kinds of road grime, i found this aluminium foil trick online and it really works.  Then i painted them yellow to match the truck.

For the shiney side of the wheel use some stuff previously called showtime cleaner NOW called shinetime

cycle-specialties.com/products/showtime-waterless-motorcycle-cleaner-17-50

Its wonderful stuff, its all you need for cleaning motorcycles, or any vehicle.    I loved how in the motor fins of the bike and other hard to clean areas it does such a great job.  Oh and on the tank or body parts, or chrome, its awesome. 


I too love wheel covers, it saves tires and wheels IMO.
 

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